Tennis Ball Green Trend

I know, I know. Neon green for spring? Groundbreaking. But it’s back you guys! This time they’re calling it tennis ball green. I love to pair a pop of bright color with easy basics. Think a white tank with jean shorts and these cute tennis ball green Birkenstocks. Or this cropped gingham cardigan with a solid colored sundress. You can easily add some pizzazz to any outfit with this fun color. It doesn’t have to be a tough to wear this trend. If you’re the type of person who loved black or darker colors, this is the way to bring Spring to your winter wardrobe without a big commitment.

Color is my favorite way to change up my mood! I’ll throw on a puffy headband in this neon shade and suddenly I’m a little bit happier when I look in the mirror. Don’t worry about feeling like it’s “too much.” Just pair your neon piece with basics and you’ll be all set. Start with accessories and then if you love it, try a dress or pants, something a little more statement-making. You might be surprised how you feel!

Tennis skirt

gingham sweater

headband

Sandals

tank

bikini top

bikini bottom

Off Duty Look: White Sneakers, Blazer, Hat

With today’s climate and working from home for months and months, my style was feeling a little less than stellar. I always loved making my weekend outfits especially “me” because I could wear more denim, slightly shorter skirts, more casual shoes, etc. and just have more fun with it! But after staying home every week day, the aisles of the grocery store started to feel like a runway. I didn’t actually want to wear high fashion to Whole Foods but I did want to feel my best and like I was expressing my personality out in public, mask and all.

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Today’s look is what I wore to get groceries this weekend. I got these white sneakers a month or two ago because they seemed like the perfect Spring/Summer casual shoe. My hair was not exactly great that day and I like to get going to the store early (less crowds!) so I wasn’t in the mood to fix it.

I’ve been kinda into Hailey Beiber’s street style and remembered her looking cute with a baseball hat and tons of big blazers. It totally fit with my vibe for the day so I went with it and threw on an oversized blazer as my jacket. Base layers were easy basics: medium wash skinny jeans and a black turtleneck (my go-to, always. I swear a black turtleneck is so chic and timeless.) I love a good high/low look like this; the casualness of the hat and sneakers and the tailored blazer with the jewelry

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blazer: American Eagle and thrifted (similar here and here)

hat: Philly Marathon-yes, I ran it…it was horrible, hah. (similar)

turtleneck: J.Crew, brand new from Poshmark (exact) I wear XXS for a slim fit, I can easily tuck in.

Jeans and sneakers: Walmart (similar here and here: ; exact sneakers true to size)

Necklace and earrings: QVC (here and here)

Belt: no brand from Ross (similar)

5 Reasons to Thrift shop:

Just a few outfits made of my thrift store finds!

Do you thrift shop? I’m obsessed with it. It’s like the best fashion treasure hunt to me. I come home with my loot feeling accomplished. I love surprises so I usually in blind and see what the racks hold for me. I know some of you might be new to second-hand shopping or maybe you aren’t really sure you can find anything so I wanted to give you five reasons to thrift shop.

  1. Score fashion finds for super affordable prices!
    • This one is probably obvious but it’s one of the best reasons. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve walked out with multiple overflowing bags of clothes, accessories, and shoes for under $100. I usually go for a big shopping spree once every season where I scour each rack and go home with enough pieces to completely overhaul my closet.
    • I find the cheapest prices at Goodwill and Salvation Army but definitely check out consignment and vintage stores in your area to support local businesses!
    • Don’t forget about online consignment and resale sites like Poshmark, Mercari, etc. (These take a little more effort to get an amazing deal. I think I’ll write a whole post of this!)
  2. You’re saving the environment one vintage dress at a time.
    • It’s becoming more popular to look into where your clothing comes from. There are some great brands out there that use recycled materials (Girlfriend Collective workout wear is great). Some also let your trade in your jeans, etc when you buy a new pair like Madewell and Patagonia.
    • But honestly, doing your research can be a little daunting. When you shop at a thrift store or resale site, you automatically know you’re helping create less pollution and less trash in landfills!
  3. You’re forced to get creative with your wardrobe.
    • I like to go into a store with a general idea of what I’m looking for but stay open to surprises. For example, I might want to find a spring skirt. I won’t be attached to a color or style because every store and every visit is different! I always seem to find a version of what I wanted. Then when I get home, I shop my closet to create the perfect outfit.
  4. Try out a style outside of your comfort zone with little risk.
    • Do you know how fun it is to pick up a crazy ’90s sweater and realize you love it? I really enjoy taking a chance on something a little weird that I would normally not buy full price or brand new. I recently bought some bright camo pants! Not exactly my style but I’m excited to take them for a spin.
  5. Find unique pieces that no one else will have!
    • This is my personal favorite reason to thrift shop! I’ve always been a little annoyed when someone has a shirt or dress that I do because style should be individual. I’m not saying you can’t take inspiration from a celebrity or movie character (I do all the time) but there’s something special about creating an ensemble that expresses your personality. Thrift shops have anywhere from vintage to brand new with tags still on. Pieces from stores you’ve never heard of, handmade items, parts of old costumes, whatever you can think of I’ve probably seen! You can almost guarantee that your “new” purchases won’t also be worn by your neighbor, a co-worker, or a stranger in the grocery store.

Just a few reasons to try out thrift shopping! I hope you give it a shot!

-Whitney

Preppy Spring Style Vibes

spring vibes fashion style pink preppy floral outfit
spring vibes: easy breezy pieces in floral and spring colors!

Who else is ready for preppy Spring style vibes? As much as I love Fall and winter clothing (it will always be my favorite), By March, I’m always ready for the preppy florals, pretty pastels, bright whites, and fresh feel of fashion this time of year. It’s so fun to walk through stores (pre-Covid) and see how seemingly overnight the displays have changed from dark and dreary into Springtime outfits. Seeing the flowers bloom, all the animals running around, experiencing the joy of Easter season, and the longer days just make me feel renewed!

I’m sharing a few pieces that are on my Spring wishlist that get me in the mood.

  1. Pink silky blouse with the cutest mini ruffle bell sleeves! This would go great with white jeans or a denim skirt.

2. Floral lounge shorts in a preppy magnolia print. These are just as easy to style as your sweatpants but way cuter!

3. Fun, translucent pink cross-body bag . What’s not to love about a bright pink mini bag?

4. Pastel pink sunglasses that will add some color to your face. I love to get a new pair of sunnies at least every season and these are super cute.

5. White lettuce edge tee that gives a basic a fun twist. I don’t know about you but I always need white tees and tanks and this one seems so fresh.

6. White jeans, because everyone should have some in their closet! White jeans really do go with everything and it’s not better time to try them out than Spring. I bet you’ll end up wearing them well into summer too.

I can’t wait to put together some new outfits with pieces like these! What are you shopping for this season?

Instant Gratification?

This morning I wanted an apple fritter.  Actually I craved a fritter from Wawa, in all it’s oversized, doughy fabulousness. Like, very specific.  I needed this one.  For an hour or so while I thought about it, no other substitute would do. I also was out of coffee at home and needed to buy some.  Wawa coffee is cheap but oh so wonderful.  As I drove there, wrestling in my mind if I should allow myself a delicious, wheat-filled doughnut, I had so many thoughts.  This quote above came to mind that I just saw on IG last night…now I had a decision to make.

It’s not life and death.  I can have a doughnut if I want to.  No one would care and they would just think it’s pretty normal for someone’s breakfast when stopping at a glorified (i.e. magical) gas station.

This I know.  However, I also know how terrible I felt basically every other time I ate an apple fritter.  At first the taste was incredible. It’s the slightest bit crunchy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, with hints of apple, cinnamon, and the best glaze over it all.  But, within like 15 minutes, my throat hurt; I felt foggy; I was suddenly super lethargic; My eyes felt dryer.  The rest of the day I ate completely gluten free and, even so, the next morning I still felt like I was coming down with something.  I just felt pretty gross, almost like I was fighting off a cold.

As I pulled in to the parking lot, I thought about all of this.  I also thought about the nice pumpkin spice oatmeal and strawberries I had packed for myself for breakfast, sitting in my lunch bag on my front seat.  This moment was such a straightforward lesson in instant gratification and how it (usually) never serves us.

So I walked in, mostly sure I wouldn’t get a fritter, saw the $1 Any Size Coffee sign on the door (bonus!), and just bought my Cuban roast 24 oz.  I did walk into one snack aisle, looked at the bars and cookies, searching for something G-free that might be a meager substitute but left with just the coffee. On the way to work I decided there are plenty of places I could get a gluten free/healthy-ish dessert.  Not to mention just how many recipes I had saved on my Pinterest boards for, you guessed it, gluten free apple fritters.  This is not the end all be all.  There are plenty of other ways to get my fix that won’t leave me with a gluten hangover.

I know in the scheme of things this was not a hard decision but it got me thinking.

How many things do we do just for the instant rush of pleasure?

Then once it’s over, we crash and burn and feel worse off than we did before.

I know that there are many tough situations to navigate out there so why make it harder on myself by choosing the easy route?  This isn’t always bad.  Sometimes it’s nice to have my cup of hot coffee 10 minutes after I roll out of bed.  It makes me happy.  But, I think we all know just how precarious it can be to follow our every whim.  I’m a big believer in following my instincts and all but that’s subtly different.  My gut instinct knew having a doughnut would not make me feel good.  My urge for instant gratification tried to tell me I deserved it, like the little devil on my shoulder waving a processed pastry in my face, saying it would make me feel better.  This has been a long road to self-discovery when I turned to intuitive eating.  It was about so much more than food.  I was either restricting or going off the rails.  And guess what?  Neither made me happy or feel healthier.  And eating “better” or eating “junk food” also doesn’t make me good or bad.  But sometimes, discipline does make you a better person in the long run.

Why yes, the apple fritter is a metaphor.  Hopefully you can relate it to something in your life that seems like the greatest idea of all time and then moments later leaves you sad and broken on the floor.

While I do believe there are things I need to get out of my system, I also know that some things aren’t worth the pain.

Life means I’m learning just how much I truly know what’s best for me, in food, in life, in everything, even if that might mean skipping the doughnut.

~Whitney V.

 

Why I Eat Gluten Free

Why do I eat gluten free? Should you?

Of course it seems super trendy, and I’ll be the first to admit I jumped on that bandwagon a few years ago.  It promised less inflammation, probably weight loss (less carbs!), and an overall high vibe wellness-y life!  Seemingly so at least.  To be clear, when I “went gluten free” back then, it was with little purpose other than testing it out, hoping it would be the golden ticket to perfect health and my perfect body. I never actually was very strict about it.  I would pretty much get a packaged product and think, “ooo, it’s gluten free!  It must be healthy!”  And, if there was something amazing like say, fried pickles or a delectable cookie, I’d eat it, guiltily. Needless to say, I never noticed a difference.

I was feeling pretty lackluster and very low on important vitamin levels for a few months despite eating very cleanly and (what I thought was) super healthy. I finally got a food sensitivity test done when all my other tests came back negative (thankful) for other major issues.  To the best of my knowledge, I do not have Celiac Disease or an allergy to wheat or gluten.  However, I have a severe sensitivity to gluten, wheat, rye, and soy.  This is actually a lesser-known issue they call Non-Celian Gluten Sensitivity. I truly can tell when I’ve been “glutened.” This is a personal choice of mine to stay away from it as much as possible.  I am far from perfect and thankfully a little bit here and there or cross-contamination will not cause lasting physical effects that I feel.  But I do know, when I knowingly have something with those ingredients in it, I feel tired, sometimes get stomach pains, my throat will hurt, and my eyes feel dry.

It’s really important to keep in mind just how different we all are.  This might not do anything for you!  Or maybe you have it worse than me and have a true allergy or Celiac’ s and need to avoid it completed.

There might not be any reason to avoid gluten/wheat, and you don’t have to!, but if you do want to give it a try it might help if you have an autoimmune disease to lower inflammation, lift brain fog, and help with digestion issues, among other things. Remember, just because something is gluten free does not mean it’s better!  Still focus on whole foods when you can.

Right now I do not worry too much about cross-contamination if I would really like to try something. That might change or it might not.  Plus, I will have something like a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery if I’m in NYC.  I just will try my best the rest of the day to be completely G-free so I don’t end up feeling totally wiped.  Another thing I do is pay close attention to how I feel after eating something new. Sometimes I might eat something with oats (usually have cross-contamination), and will feel some negative effects.  If that happens I probably won’t buy that brand/item again.

*Hot tip: This is controversial but I can tell a big difference taking an activated charcoal pill after I’ve been glutened.  Just don’t rely on it!

This is just one tiny piece of the puzzle when it comes to health and wellness so take it with a grain of salt.  I’ve been testing things out for YEARS and finally feel like I’m more in tune with what makes me feel best.

Something different works for all of us.  Wellness is not one size fits all. I don’t eat like this for any other reason other than I feel my best without these ingredients.

Leave a comment and tell me why or why not you eat gluten free!  Or if you have any questions, I’d love to see if I can answer them.

~Whitney

 

What’s Your Motivation?

Today I got to thinking about motivation.  It’s billed as this thing you either have or you don’t. He’s a motivated person.  Oh, she’s so driven.

We think to ourselves, “why am I so lazy?” Aka: “why do I have no motivation to do this specific thing I think I should be doing?”

I think we can only have motivation for things we truly want to do. Yes, I know, what does this mean for things  we don’t love, like going to work for some people or exercising?  I’ve been thinking about that too. I think when the money/health benefits/paid vacay days add up to something you appreciate having, the job or workout still motivates you to go and at least do the minimum you need to do to stay in good shape.

Everything we do has a motivator, a reason why we do it. Sometimes that motivator is fun, or pain, or free food.  Who knows?  It’s always something unique to the situation but it’s always there.

Ever since I became acutely aware of this, I’d say maybe 5 years ago, I try my best to not be led by fear or anger or sadness.  No negative emotion, really.  Unless I’m being chased by a bear or something.  Obvi, not life and death situations, people.

It brings to mind the Nelson Mandela quote,

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

That’s it.

I want to go toward something exciting.  I do not want to run away because fear is my driving force. I don’t want to be motivated to prove someone wrong. I especially do not want to stay small and quiet because I’m afraid.

I know this is not a new concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s something most of us follow.  This is easy to And in this beautiful but brash world we live in, it’s definitely not easy.

All we can do is be conscious of our actions, and, ultimately, what motivates us.

Our thoughts become things. Maybe not always physical things but they sure do manifest into emotions that directly affect our daily lives. I do not want to be made up of fear or scarcity or anger.

I have no new perspective for you. I’m just saying it because it should be said. Notice your thoughts. Notice what drives you. Even if one person follows their positive instincts for one day, it’s made a difference.

~Whitney

Fall Fabulous

I always can feel the seasons changing.  Even when I was little. It would be steamy August and summer and I’d get (more) freckles each week, and then all of a sudden I would wake up one day and feel the morning air was the slightest bit brisk. Even if the summer sun would burn it off quite quickly, I just knew that that was Fall, hinting at its impending entrance.

This is my ode to Autumn. It’s a little bit funny that Fall has almost become a total basic girl cliché.   I realized this today while daydreaming about pumpkin spice flavors, plaid scarves, and apple orchards, even though it’s currently about 78 degrees.  Speaking of which, apparently it’s PSL day since Starbucks launches all the pumpkin drinks today.  I’m usually underwhelmed by the actual pumpkin spice latte but their new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew sounds like something I might need to try once.

I don’t really care that’s it’s so popular now because I’ve always been into flannel shirts and ankle boots and wandering through leaf-lined paths. Maybe it’s just social media that’s shed the light on the fact that just about every other person loves it too.

That crispness in the air? Pumpkins out front at the grocery store? The Halloween stores opening up? Pinecones, chrysanthemums, leaves of every color? Hiking without the gnats and ticks?

I’m here for it all.

The hot coffee, the beautiful sunsets, the leather jackets, the comfort food. The tights!  Haha, a pale girl like me loves tight season.

I think Fall is a favorite for many people because it’s not as harsh as summer or winter. It’s leading into the time when we normally get cozy and slow down a little.  School starts, and no matter how long I’ve been out, I get a little wistful for bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

I also start to feel more like myself again when the air gets cooler. I’ve often wondered why. Is it because I was born in winter? I feel at home there? There’s just a little extra something in my aura this time of year. As much as a I try to explain it and list the wonderful attributes of the season, I can never put my finger on it. I don’t really want to.  If you know me, you know I love a little magic in my life and that’s what the unexplainable is. Magic.

~Whitney

P.S. What’s your favorite thing about Autumn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Turmoil

I hinted at this on my latest IG post…(go follow me to read heh).

When there is something I don’t want to do or something I don’t like but I need to do anymore, I try to make it better, more special somehow. I’m not perfect and there are times when I get stuck in the negative thinking, but my go-to response is to try to make it fun!

A lot of time it’s just for myself, and that’s pretty much all that matters. No one might know that I just went to get a latte at Starbucks because it’s a little treat.  Or I took the long way home for a change of scenery. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in our daily lives, doing what we’re “supposed to do.” We forget that we have the power to change anything at anytime. Yes, it might not be easy but after awhile of this kind of bigger thinking, you get the hang of it.

The idea for this came from me hating Tuesdays. I shouldn’t say I hate them, but they sure are my least favorite day of the week.  I can think of redeeming qualities for every other day but Tuesday. It’s not a fresh start like Monday. Wednesday is the peak from which you can see the other side, and it’s obviously not a weekend day. I don’t know, it’s just boring. Sorry Tuesday.

Something hit me this morning that I don’t need to just get through all the rest Tuesdays I get to experience in my life, I can actually enjoy them!

Seriously, Whitney. Duh.

How did I not realize this before? I know I always get to decide how I feel so why did I forget I could change my narrative around Tuesdays too?

I started with trying to think of all the good points of Tuesdays.  Well, I didn’t come up with more than like two.

  1. It’s a blank slate.
  2. A lot of new podcast episodes are released on Tuesdays.

That’s it, you guys. All I could think of.

Sooo…my next plan of attack is that I create new experiences for myself. Plan a little treat or something unique on a Tuesday every week. Could be little or big. Now this was a fun list to create.

  1. Try a new fitness class
  2. Schedule a wellness practice (ie. salt lounge, meditation)
  3. Cook a special dinner
  4. Go to the library and find a new book
  5. Buy a fancy cappuccino (I basically always get black coffee or Americanos)
  6. Get a facial, manicure, spa treatment (or to save money, have an Epsom salt bath/face mask situation at home!)
  7. Go window shopping
  8. Make lunch plans with a friend
  9. Plan a TV free night
  10. Bake cookies

Of course you can tailor it to your hobbies and things you love. I believe if I make just this little bit of effort to plan a small, fun thing, I’ll break out of my routine bubble and, who knows?, maybe even begin to look forward to Tuesdays!

~Whitney

P.S. What day of the week do you dread? What do you do to make something more fun?

meditation motivation

Oh hey, yeah, it’s super trendy and that usually annoys me a little, but meditation is pretty magical.

In this day and age, I think it’s an even more important tool now to help with improving our mental health. Every moment we’re surrounding by media. Technology is always waiting at our fingertips to give our brains new ideas and concepts. We can barely think our own thoughts anymore without some kind of outside influence.

I am not going to lie and say I meditate every day or really even on a set schedule, however, when I set aside time to sit quietly and do nothing, shifts happen in my life.

There are so many resources out there today to help you but you honestly don’t need a single thing to get started.

This summer I started meditating outside and it’s been nice but you can do it anywhere that feels right. If I’m feeling extra fancy I’ll light a candle and maybe hold a crystal or two.  It’s not necessary though! It’s too easy for me to skip it because it’s not the “perfect” time or setup. (What is that trait? Perfectionism or just an excuse to procrastinate?  That’s a mystery for another time.) Literally, you can meditate anywhere without a single prop.

Anyway, it depends on my mood what type of meditation I feel like doing.

Ways to meditate:

Solo – In your car, bedroom, on a park bench…Use headphones with music if you want but it’s not necessary unless you’re trying to tune out some outside noise. I suggest just instrumental music; lyrics usually make me think too much. I’m a dork and love movie soundtracks (Legends of the Fall…swoon) and Jim Brickman.

During exercise – Any cardio is great for this, I think because of the repetitive motion, like running, walking, biking, ellipticalling…that’s a word, right? I rarely wear headphones when running (unless I’m going for speed on a gym treadmill. I like the music for a motivation boost!) and it’s such great thinking time. It’s not classic meditation but it’s mind-clearing time where I come up with a lot of solutions to things I’ve been mulling over.

Group meditation – look around for events on Facebook.  A couple places in my area that have meditations now and then are The Salt Lounge, Bldg 7 Yoga, and Integrative Healing Arts. At first I thought this might be strange, sitting silently in a room with a bunch of people, but it’s usually been great. There’s a different energy when you’re all together.

Apps – If you can’t tear yourself away from your phone, you might like an app to help you get started with meditation. I’ve heard great things about the Headspace app!

YouTube – I’ve been known to search randomly on YouTube for meditations.  There are thousands out there but it can also be a little overwhelming.  I recommend listening to the first few seconds of one before committing. I def. can’t stand certain people’s voices or overall vibes and have to switch to a new one asap!

Journaling – I wasn’t sure if I should include this as a type since it’s a little more active but I think it’s an excellent practice and can definitely be meditative. If you’re not used to writing, start with a prompt. Soon you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to write from your heart, not your mind. Cliché but true.

It’s seriously about just quieting your thoughts for a few minutes. I get clarity, and weirdly, feel more energized after I meditate. Sometimes I’ll do it in bed and then realize I’m a little more awake!  Not really what I was going for then, but it’s amazing at what just sitting still does for me.

If you’re not sure where to start, do this: Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and just notice your thoughts. Don’t try to get rid of them or change them, just notice how they come up and how they flow away and onto the next one. There’s no forcing your brain to be quiet, it’s more the action of letting go of the thought, not trying to understand it. Once your timer goes off, just go about your day. See if sitting quietly gets a little easier after each time you do it.

There will oddly be times where I crave it now. Sometimes I just want to grab a notebook and write some random thoughts. Anyway I do it is time well spent.

I’d love to hear your experiences meditating or why you haven’t gotten in to it before!

~Whitney